A major study suggests the price of growth in Missouri might be more than we can continue to pay. The Brookings Institution in Washington D. C., the nation’s oldest think tank, says growth patterns isolate low-income and minority residents, erode the state’s rural heritage, drive up costs to taxpayers and communities and threaten the beauty of the Ozarks. Survey author Bruce Katz says the spreading population in open parts of the state is increasing costs for transportation and other infrastructure, schools and health care. Katz says barriers to raising revenues imposed by the Hancock Amendment and a high dependence on sales taxes force communities to compete heavily for new retail establishments that tend to scatter growth outward, driving up costs to taxpayers to provide services to the spreading communities. He says one answer is for the state to give localities more authority and more capability to work together on a regional basis instead of continuing competition that is inefficient and costly at a time when the state is broke. Click here to read the full report.
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